Mont Caume

Location

Mont Caume is a mountain that rises to 804 metres above sea level. It is the tallest peak in the mountains around the city of Toulon. It straddles the communes of Evenos and Revest-les-Eaux in the south-west of the Var department. It has a complex geological make-up, comprising vast scree slopes, sheer cliffs and rocks formed by natural elements.

Military past

Although it still belongs to the French Army, the site has not been used for military purposes since the end of the Second World War. It had a heavy military presence in the first half of the 20thcentury. The site still contains various buildings that remain from its military past, including former barracks, anti-aircraft weaponry firing ranges and several shelters.

 

 

Environmental importance of the site

Mont Caume has a cave biotope that provides the ideal habitat for several animal and plant species. The ridges are home to Brassica montana and Hormathophylla spinosa, both of which are endemic to Toulon, while the scree slopes and rocky terrains are the ideal habitat for Arenaria provincialis, which is endemic to Basse-Provence.

The local karst topography is also a favourable habitat for five species of bats of community importance: the Greater Horseshoe Bat, the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, the Bechstein's Bat, the Geoffroy's Bat and the Common Bent-wing Bat.

The summit of Mont Caume is home to pseudo-steppe grasslands that are rich in annual grasses. These habitats are home to an exceptionally diverse population of therophytes and geophytes. They are also attractive habitats for numerous insect species (lepidoptera and orthoptera) and are fertile hunting grounds for bats, nesting birds (Bonelli's Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Ortolan Bunting, etc.) and migratory birds (Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, etc.).

It has been a Site of Community Importance (FR 9301608 "Mont Caume-Mont Faron-Morières national forest") since 13 January 2012 and is bordered to the east by the Special Protection Area FR 9312016 "Cliffs of Mont Caume".

 

Threats

The current threats to the habitats and species of community importance at Mont Caume come from the colonisation of the grasslands by resinous trees and by trampling as a result of uncontrolled human activity at the site.

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